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Two dead, two wounded in Belgium shooting

Two people were shot dead and two others gravely wounded on Thursday in an area known for drug trafficking near the Gare de Midi train station in Brussels, police said.

The incident occurred between 1am and 2am near a cafe in the Saint Gilles district of the Belgian capital and the suspect or suspects fled, a police spokesman said.

In total, three people were wounded. Two are in a life-threatening condition, while a third is stable, the local police department said.

Brussels region authorities this year identified Saint Gilles as a drugs hotspot along with 14 others in the capital’s 19 districts.

Police have not thus far established a link between the shooting and the city’s illegal drugs trade.

Judicial officials were due to make a statement later on Thursday.

In recent years, Belgium has seen a rise in armed violence linked to rivalries between drug trafficking gangs.

There have been shootouts in the street in Brussels and in Antwerp, whose port has become the main entry point into Europe for cocaine imported illegally from Latin America.

“There was an attack against a soldier in Brussels,” federal police told AFP in 2016. “Soldiers at the scene responded.”

The man was shot dead on the spot.

AFP

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Written by Olusesan Oba

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